Looking back, going forwards

  • 4 weeks to #joberg2c

Today’s wonderful ride through Wiltshire and Dorset

Heavens, can that be right? In just four weeks’ time, if all has gone according to plan, I will have completed the first stage of Joberg2c. It’s just so hard to believe that it is almost here, and I don’t feel as if I’ve done nearly enough training.

Suddenly I find myself looking over my shoulder, not to see who is coming up behind me, but to see what I’ve done heading into previous events. I’ve looked at my log books from 2005 and 2009, when I rode the Cape Epic, and I’m not at all happy. Log books? you ask. Yes, I’ve kept a log book from when I started to run at university. The first entry is dated 3 January 1973: about 3 miles in 25 minutes. That is more than 46 years ago, and the entries switched from running to include cycling over the years (I “gave up” running in 1986, although I’ve never really stopped). There have been a few gaps in the log book – 1977, 1978 and 1980 have no entries, because I was a lazy bugger for a few years, drinking and smoking and enjoying life too much.

Look here, my first race, Springs Striders 32km on 18th February 1973: finished 82nd out of 450 entrants in 2 hrs 15 mins 14 secs. I’ve even noted that the race was won by Dennis Morrison (who won it for several years, if memory serves), ¬†Geoff Tribe was second and Brian Chamberlain third. Three weeks later I was back in Springs for my first marathon, the Southern Transvaal Championships. I finished 63rd in 3 hours 0 mins 49 secs. It wasn’t until years later that I’d realised that I’d missed a sub-3 hour marathon at my first attempt by 50 seconds.

Anyhow, that’s all ancient history. I’ve looked at the evidence and suddenly I realise I haven’t done nearly as much training as I’d have liked. Admittedly I still have three weeks to go, so there is hope. I know I’ll just have to keep plugging away, at the training and on the ride.

Probably the most notable thing in the 46 years of logged runs and rides, there is not one entry that says: DNF (did not finish). I suppose that is what gives me hope.

One last note about why I keep the log book. It’s not so much to see what I’ve done before. Rather, it is a prod, a goad. If I open it and see a few blank spaces, I know it’s time to get off my rear end and do something. I’m not a Duracell bunny that just keeps on going and going on magic juice. No, I have to find my own energy, but a guilty conscience helps.

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